Carnival.CruisesforFamilies

Best cruises for families on holiday

Cash in on some quality family time on these family-friendly cruise lines.

Multi-generational holidays are the new family reunions. They’re an ideal way to catch up, unwind and explore with loved ones without having to worry about taking care of accommodation, food and transportation between ports.

Whether you’re a family of three or a party of 20, these lines are the specialists when it comes to organising family cruises that tick all the boxes for young and old. All you need to do is choose the destination.

1. Disney Cruise Line via CruiseAway
Disney has secured its spot as a magical brand the whole family can enjoy, and its cruises are no different.

There’s a little bit of magic in store for every member of your crew when you board a Disney cruise ship. Adults have freedom to escape to their own heavenly oases onboard while little ones can play in supervised youth groups or in activity playground.

  • Activities for the whole family: Broadway-style live shows, Walt Disney theatre, karaoke, trivia, music and dance deck parties, family-friendly port activities and kids’ pools.
  • Family cabins: Disney’s liners have deluxe family staterooms that are ideal for up to five guests. For larger families, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have over 500 connecting cabins.
  • Family discounts: Discounted rates for children sharing a cabin with parents.

Go to Disney Cruise Line via CruiseAway website View coupon codes for Disney Cruise Line via CruiseAway


2. Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian has a reputation for providing some of the best entertainment at sea for young and old.

Featuring Broadway-style musicals, areas for various sports and pools complete with waterslides and deckchairs, Norwegian’s activities aim to bring families together onboard. If you’re looking for the best European cruise for families, this line is it.

  • Activities for the whole family: Broadway musicals, mini-golf, bowling, circus and magician shows, water parks, rope courses and rock climbing walls.
  • Family cabins: Connecting staterooms are available for multi-generational parties. Family staterooms are best for families of four.
  • Family discounts: On most sailings, Norwegian offers discounts for the third to the eighth guest in one party.

Go to Norwegian Cruise Line website View coupon codes for Norwegian Cruise Line


3. Carnival Cruise Line via CruiseAway
Not all families are made the same, so Carnival gives you and your brood plenty of options to play it your way.

With basketball courts and a fast and steep water slide for kids, and a casino and adults-only retreat for parents, there’s a reason why Carnival is referred to as the “fun” cruise line. It currently offers more than 200 family-friendly activities across

  • Activities for the whole family: Dr Seuss-themed entertainment, water slides, mini-golf, swimming pools, basketball and dive-in movies.
  • Family cabins: Family staterooms can accommodate up to four. Interconnecting rooms are available
  • Family discounts: Discounts for third and fourth guests in the same room.

Go to Carnival Cruise Line via CruiseAway website View coupon codes for Carnival Cruise Line via CruiseAway


4. P&O Cruises Australia
With home ports in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, P&O keeps the family trip close to home with a shorter journey to the wharf, making it one of the best cruises for families in Australia.

As a bonus for older families, P&O limits the number of children who embark, so you can expect a good mix of ages onboard its family-friendly fleet. As an estimate, around one third of its passengers are either families or multi-generationals.

  • Activities for the whole family: Movies by the pool, theatre performances, live music and trivia and game shows.
  • Family cabins: Three- and four-berth rooms. Cabin configurations tend to be twin beds with one to two upper bunk beds.
  • Family discounts: Discounts available for groups of 16 guests or more.

Go to P&O Cruises Australia website View coupon codes for P&O Cruises Australia


5. Royal Caribbean International
Winner of the Top Cruise Lines for Families by Travel + Leisure readers in 2013, Royal Caribbean creates holidays the whole family can enjoy.

It achieves this with a blend of one-of-a-kind kids, family and adult activities both onboard and onshore. These include a skydiving simulator and surfing simulator. Royal Caribbean also offers group discounts and customisation options.

  • Activities for the whole family: Roller skating rink, bumper cars, circus school, surf simulator, mini-golf, exclusive DreamWorks shows and parades.
  • Family cabins: Generous family and two-bedroom cabins can accommodate up to eight people.
  • Family discounts: Discounts for third and fourth passengers in the same cabin.

Go to Royal Caribbean International website View coupon codes for Royal Caribbean International


6. Captain Cook Cruises
When it comes to the best voyages for families in Australia, Captain Cook Cruises is right up there.

Aussie born and bred, this cruise line sails in and around our nation. It features up to week-long cruises through the Murray River and the Fiji islands. Cruise ships to Fiji have kids’ clubs, childminding services, swimming pools and entertainment.

  • Activities for the whole family: Sightseeing, whale watching, hop-on/hop-off and adventurous shore excursions.
  • Family cabins: Family cabins are available on Fiji cruises. The Murray Darling paddlesteamer has rooms capable of accommodating up to three people.
  • Family discounts: Child discounts available when booking adjoining staterooms on Fiji cruises. Discounts for triple occupancy available on Murray Darling cruises.

Go to Captain Cook Cruises website View coupon codes for Captain Cook Cruises



Family cruise cabins compared

Family room typesMaximum occupancy per roomAre interconnecting rooms available?
Disney Cruise LineDeluxe family staterooms5Yes
Norwegian Cruise LineFamily staterooms4Yes
Carnival Cruise LineFamily staterooms4Yes
P&O Cruises AustraliaQuad-share rooms and suites4Yes
Royal Caribbean InternationalFamily and two-bedroom cabins8Yes
Captain Cook CruisesFamily rooms (Fiji), paddle steamer cabins (Murray Darling)4 (Fiji) and 3 (Murray Darling)Yes

Importance of cruise travel insurance for families

Bringing the whole brood along on a trip isn't cheap and takes a lot of planning to make it happen.

If anything doesn't go quite according to that plan it's assuring to know that you can get cruise travel insurance that's specifically designed for sailings. Compared to regular travel insurance, cruise plans can include added benefits like missed shore excursions if there's bad weather in a port, lost or damaged formal wear if something happens to your bag along the journey and cabin confinement compensation if your family comes down with a contagious stomach bug..

Top cruise deals and flights

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 30% off tours worldwide

Save on sailing trips and small-group adventures worldwide until July 2019 including India, Sri Lanka, China, USA, Cuba, Thailand, Vietnam, Caribbean, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and more.

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AnyBoat AnyBoat

Sydney New Year's Eve cruises from just $400

Experience New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour aboard a cruise that'll get you up close to the midnight fireworks display. Dinner, drinks and BYO options available.

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Gate1 Travel Gate1 Travel

Up to $1,100 off European river cruises

Valid on select dates from March 2019 - November 2019. Destinations include Budapest, Munich, Prague, Berlin, Krakow and more. Note: Deposit must be paid by 7 November 2018 to receive discount.

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Groupon Groupon

15% off Sydney New Year's Eve cruise

Valid on 31 December 2018. Includes full cocktail menu, beers, champagne and red and white wine. T&Cs apply.

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Gate1 Travel Gate1 Travel

Extra $700 off Christmas market river cruises in Europe

Available on a 9-day Christmas market cruise through Germany and the Netherlands in 2019.

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Let's Ferry Let's Ferry

20% off early bookings

Valid for one way or round trip travel on the Adriatic line until 31 December 2019. T&Cs apply.

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Let's Ferry Let's Ferry

Blue Star Ferries from just 20€

Valid on select dates for travel until 31 October 2019. Destinations include Cyclades routes, Dodecanese routes and Northern Aegean Routes. T&C's apply.

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Cudo Cudo

Up to 40% off 5-day Moreton Island cruise with P&O

Valid for cruise on 13-17 May 2019 from Sydney. Includes four nights interior cabin accommodation and an all-inclusive meals onboard. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to 20% off Norwegian sailings

Valid for cruise on select dates between January 2019 - April 2022. Destinations include Hawaii and Pacific. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

$25 deposits for select cruises

Pay only $25 to secure 2020 fly, cruise and stay packages. Destinations include London, Hong Kong, Penang, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore, Hawaii, Sydney, Greek Islands and more. T&Cs apply.

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Veltra Veltra

Up to 6% off Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve cruise

Valid on 31 December 2018. Includes unlimited drinks. T&Cs apply.

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Viator Viator

Sydney New Year's Eve tickets from $299

Sydney Opera House Gala, New Yew Year's Eve fireworks cruises, Sydney Tower dinner with fireworks views and more.

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Groupon Groupon

34% off Sydney New Year's Eve cruise

Valid on 31 December 2018 with Legend Cruises. T&Cs apply.

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Cudo Cudo

34% off all-inclusive Sydney New Year's Eve cruise

Valid on 31 December 2018. Includes open bar, canapes on arrival and standing buffet. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

50% off second guest on Royal Caribbean Cruises

Valid on select sailings departing between January - March 2019. Includes up to $1,000 onboard credit. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

50% off second guest + free internet

Valid on select 2019 cruises with Azamara. Destinations include Western Europe, Mediterranean Sea, Central America, Caribbean, Transatlantic and more. T&Cs apply.

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Cudo Cudo

59% off Sydney Boxing Day buffet dinner cruise

Valid on 26 December 2018 for three-hour cruise. T&Cs apply.

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Groupon Groupon

50% off Sydney harbour yacht stay

Valid until 30 April 2019. T&Cs apply.

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Groupon Groupon

32% off 3-night cruise from Sydney

Valid until 10 November 2019. Includes 3-night cruise with cabin accommodation, meals, onboard activities and more. T&Cs apply.

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Groupon Groupon

25% off overnight Sydney Harbour sailing

Valid from 14 December 2018 - 18 January 2019. Includes breakfast, dinner and drinks. T&Cs apply.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

Last-minute cruises from $313

Valid for cruise from 14 December 2018 - 9 February 2019. Destinations include Hamilton Island, Tasmania, Noumea, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

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G Adventures G Adventures

20% off select Thailand sailing tours

Valid for travel from 7 January - 1 April 2019. T&Cs apply.

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G Adventures G Adventures

25% off select Mekong River cruises

Valid for travel on April 2019. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

$1 deposits + up to $300 onboard credit

Available on select P&O Cruises departing on select dates from 15 February 2019. Destinations include Melbourne, Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach, Suva and more. T&Cs apply.

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Fred. Olsen Fred. Olsen

Up to 30% off Christmas and New Year's cruises

Valid for travel from November - December 2018. Destinations include South Pacific, Caribbean and Australia. T&Cs apply.

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Nexus Holidays Nexus Holidays

Up to $2,500 off Europe and Mediterranean cruise

Valid for travel between April - October 2019. Includes return economy flights with Etihad, 7-nights accommodation aboard MSC Seaview, roundtrip airport transfers, tours and more. T&Cs apply.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

$1 deposits + up to $300 onboard credit

Valid for cruises departing on select dates from 15 February 2019. Destinations include Melbourne, Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach, Suva and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Free unlimited drinks package + $150 OBC

Valid for travel from March 2019 - April 2010 on 7+ nights cruises with MSC. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to $600 free onboard credit with Carnival

Valid from 23 November 2018 - 30 December 2019 on select Australia and South Pacific destinations. T&Cs apply.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

Up to $200 on board credit on last-minute cruises

Valid from October - December 2018. Destinations include Moreton Island, Noumea, Hamilton Island, Vanuatu, Brisbane, Sydney and more. Cruises start from $315 per person for 3-night comedy cruises. T&Cs apply.

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Fred. Olsen Fred. Olsen

Fjords cruises from £679 + up to £100 tour credit

Valid for travel on select 2018-19 sailings. Choose from a complimentary all-inclusive drinks upgrade or up to £100 pp shore tour credit. T&C's apply.

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Fred. Olsen Fred. Olsen

No single supplement

Book select cruises as a solo traveller and pay no single supplement.

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Viator Viator

Melbourne New Year's Eve party cruise from US$170

Valid on 31 December 2018. Includes dinner, wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks. T&Cs apply.

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
12 Dec 2018 Extra $700 off Christmas market river cruises in Europe CNC****
13 Dec 2018 Up to 30% off tours worldwide ********
15 Nov 2018 Sydney New Year's Eve cruises from just $400 ********
7 Nov 2018 Up to $1,100 off European river cruises ********
12 Dec 2018 15% off Sydney New Year's Eve cruise ********

Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at finder.com.au and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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